Zimbabwe's government and parliament have pushed the controversial Interception of Communications and Suppression of Foreign and International Terrorism bills through parliament this week for signature into law by President Robert Mugabe.
The state eavesdropping bill passed a third reading Thursday and the senate was set to expedite all three readings Friday so as to send the legislation to the president for his signature. The terrorism bill sailed through the house on on Wednesday and the senate Thursday and now awaits signature and publication in the state gazette.
The communications bill lets the state read letters and e-mail, and monitor phone calls, while the terror bill sets penalties for those convicted of terrorist activities.
National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, a law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, tells Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that both bills target the political opposition and civil society in the 2008 election run-up.
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